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News22 Jan 2020

Past winners and global champions confirmed for Boston Marathon


Lawrence Cherono and Lelisa Desisa approach the finish line at the Boston Marathon (© AFP / Getty Images)

John Hancock and the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) today announced the elite international fields for the Boston Marathon, a World Athletics Platinum Label road race, on 20 April.

Led by defending champion and Ethiopian record-holder Worknesh Degefa, the women’s field contains 12 athletes with PBs faster than 2:23 and five runners with sub-2:20 bests.

She will face four other past winners of the Boston Marathon: USA’s 2018 champion Desiree Linden, two-time world champion Edna Kiplagat of Kenya, 2015 victor Caroline Rotich, and Ethiopia’s Buzunesh Deba, who set the course record in 2014.

Challengers for the title include 2015 world champion and Olympic bronze medallist Mare Dibaba, 2017 world champion Rose Chelimo of Bahrain, and 2015 world 10,000m silver medallist Gelete Burka of Ethiopia.

Two-time Olympian Meskerem Assefa, fellow Ethiopian Yebrgual Melese, and three-time Rome Marathon champion Rahma Tusa are also in the field, so too are Canada’s Krista Duchene, who finished third in Boston in 2018, and two-time world half marathon medallist Mary Ngugi.

Magdalyne Masai, Olympic 1500m finalist Besu Sado and Caroline Chepkoech Kipkirui will make their Boston debuts, as will Ethiopia’s Haftamnesh Tesfay. Masai won in Toronto last year, while Sado made her marathon debut in Amsterdam in October and finished fourth in 2:21:03. Kipkirui is the seventh-fastest woman of all time for the half marathon, and Tesfaye ran 2:20:13 on her marathon debut in Dubai in 2018.

Four-time New York and London winner Mary Keitany had accepted an invitation to run in Boston, but she is currently sidelined with a back injury.

With 10 men holding personal best times inside 2:07, and most having competed against each other in championship events, the race up front should prove competitive on the challenging Boston course.

Defending champion Lawrence Cherono, who also won in Chicago last year, will face three other past Boston champions: two-time winner and world champion Lelisa Desisa, 2018 victor Yuki Kawauchi of Japan, and 2017 world champion Geoffrey Kirui.

Uganda’s 2012 Olympic champion and 2013 world champion Stephen Kiprotich will make his Boston Marathon debut. Albert Korir, the runner-up in New York last year, and Dejene Debela, runner-up to Cherono by one second in Chicago, will be chasing their first World Marathon Majors victory.

Kenya’s Kenneth Kipkemoi, Philemon Rono, Benson Kipruto and Felix Kandie all return to Boston. Other athletes in the field include Japan’s Kentaro Nakamoto and Shoya Osaki, Ethiopia’s Fikre Bekele and Eritrea’s Abrar Osman.

Jemal Yimer, the Ethiopian record-holder for the half marathon and winner of the recent Houston Half Marathon, will make his highly anticipated marathon debut.

Organisers for World Athletics

Elite field

Lawrence Cherono (KEN) 2:04:06
Lelisa Desisa (ETH) 2:04:45
Philemon Rono (KEN) 2:05:00
Benson Kipruto (KEN) 2:05:13
Kenneth Kipkemoi (KEN) 2:05:44
Dejene Debela (ETH) 2:05:46
Felix Kandie (KEN) 2:06:03
Fikre Bekele (ETH) 2:06:27
Geoffrey Kirui (KEN) 2:06:27
Stephen Kiprotich (UGA) 2:06:33
Abrar Osman (ERI) 2:07:46
Albert Korir (KEN) 2:08:03
Yuki Kawauchi (JPN) 2:08:14
Kentaro Nakamoto (JPN) 2:08:35
Dylan Wykes (CAN) 2:10:47
Shoya Osaki (JPN) 2:10:48
Fernando Cabada (USA) 2:11:36
Li Zicheng (CHN) 2:11:49
Stephen Scullion (IRL) 2:11:52
Jemal Yimer (ETH) debut

Worknesh Degefa (ETH) 2:17:41
Yebrgual Melese (ETH) 2:19:36
Edna Kiplagat (KEN) 2:19:50
Mare Dibaba (ETH) 2:19:52
Buzunesh Deba (ETH) 2:19:59
Haftamnesh Tesfay (ETH) 2:20:13
Meskerem Assefa (ETH) 2:20:36
Gelete Burka (ETH) 2:20:45
Besu Sado (ETH) 2:21:03
Magdalyne Masai (KEN) 2:22:16
Desiree Linden (USA) 2:22:38
Rose Chelimo (BRN) 2:22:51
Caroline Rotich (KEN) 2:23:22
Rahma Tusa (ETH) 2:23:46
Mary Ngugi (KEN) 2:27:36
Krista Duchene (CAN) 2:28:32
Caroline Chepkoech Kipkirui (KEN) 2:31:44
Kate Landau (USA) 2:31:56